The Bombay - Goa highway NH 17 is a beautiful route - one of our favourite drives. It is especially breathtaking during the monsoons when the hills are covered with a lush green carpet - it goes over innumerable small (and some quaint) bridges with streams and seasonal rivers flowing underneath them - and over miles and miles of winding ghat roads.
And then the roadsigns that keep you awake and amused through the journey - a super creative mind longing for expression within the roadways department - who would have imagined?
They range from the simple - SPEED IS KILLING NOT THRILLING - to the more complicated LIVE AND LEFT LIVE (?!)
And then there are more morbid ones - THIS IS A HIGH-WAY, NOT A DIE-WAY (gulp, I hope so) - and a variation on this theme - THIS IS A HIGHWAY, NOT A RUNWAY… I also like the cheerful optimism behind this one - TODAY IS MY ‘NO ACCIDENT’ DAY - what about tomorrow then?
The signs in Marathi are much more strict and sermonizing in tone - MOH TAALA, NIYAM PAALA which I assume means - Oh sinner, resist the temptation - to speed/crash/kill whatever - and follow the rules…
This one has an air of finality about it - JHOPLA TO SAMPLA - loosely translating into - fall asleep, and you are finished. After which sign, I keep glancing nervously at my husband every thirty seconds and pumping him with coffee to make sure he stays bright and awake at the wheel…There is also a PEEP PEEP, DON’T SLEEP, for those not fully conversant with Marathi
And there is also - SAFETY ON ROAD IS SAFE TEA AT HOME - tea or coffee or whatever it takes, just stay awake and get me home safe… and CONTROL YOUR NERVES ON THE CURVES (is this a sexist road sign?)
Inscrutable oriental philosophy too finds expression in these roads - SENSE OF LIFE IS THE ESSENCE OF LIVING. duh?